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Qin Fang

In my spare time, I do calligraphy and Chinese ink painting, not just as a hobby – it is a practice to help me read and analyze historical documents in classical Chinese. I enjoy cooking, making dumpling and sushi in the way I really want them to look. I am not a fan of formality in culture, cooking, painting. I tend to adapt them into my understanding of the world, life, and society.

I love to travel. That’s one of the best parts of my job. I get to go all over the place locating archives, observing local daily life, encountering people that I would never have had the chance to talk with. All these further my understanding of the diversity of cultures both familiar and unfamiliar. I led two group of McDaniel students conducting student-faculty research of iron painting in China (in 2011 and 2015 respectively) funded by ASIANetwork. We interviewed the local community with assistance from student counterparts from Anhui Normal University and Anhui Polytechnic University in Wuhu. I learned “basic” skills – hammering ink painting out of iron on those trips.

In addition, I also led January Term sessions and brought McDaniel students to the Great Wall, Grand Canal, and Yellow Mountain, Suzhou gardens, the Shanghai Tower, etc. We are looking forward to exploring the geography and culture of Taiwan in the near future.

As a historian, the world is my laboratory.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., Fudan University
B.A., Anhui Normal University

Research Interests

  • Social and cultural history of local societies in Ming-Qing China

  • Gender and society in Late Imperial China

  • Hydraulic society in China

  • Food history

  • History of material culture in Jiangnan

  • History of Chinese kung-fu (martial arts, Tai Chi, qi-gong, etc).

Recent Courses

  • FYS 1233: Water, Food, and Environment

  • HIS 2231: Traditional East Asia to 1600

  • HIS 2232: Modern East Asia since 1600

  • HIS 3331: Gender and Society in China

  • HIS 3332: Hydraulic Society in China

  • HIS 2240: Modern China in Films

  • HIS 2244: American Dreams in China

  • HIS 2237: Immortals, Ancestors, and Demons: Religion and Society in China

Selected Publications

  • Submissive or Subversive: Imagining Jiangnan in the Song of Tiehua. Published in Journal of Jiangnan Historical Review in July 2018. Beijing: Shangwu Press, 2018.

  • Zheng Manqing and Kansetsu Hashimoto: Shanghai Painting School and Japanese Arts (1860s-1930s). Published in Journal of Shuwu, February, 2017.

  • Cherry Blossoms in Japan and the United States (1100s-2000). Published in Journal of Shuwu, October, 2015.

  • Zhongguo jiapu shuzihua shengcun (Chinese Genealogies and Digitalization). Published in Zhonghua pudie yanjiu (International Conference on Chinese Genealogies) Ed. Wang Shiwei. Shanghai: Shanghai kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2001, pp 299-311.

  • Sheng Xuanhai Dan'an yu liyong (Sheng Xuanhuai Archives). Published in Lishi wenxian de kaifa yu liyong, Shanghai, Shanghai Bookshop, 2000. pp 201-210.

Clubs and community involvement

  • Association of Asian Studies (AAS, Fall 2003–Present)

  • ASIANetwork (Fall 2008–Present)

  • Wuhu Local History Association (2014–Present)

  • Asian Studies Association of Australia (Summer 2018–Present)

  • Taiji Friendship Club of Greater DC Region (2011–Present)

  • Wuhu Iron Painting Association (2011–Present)

Awards and Honors

  • Summer McDaniel Student-Faculty Research (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

  • Faculty Grant Award (2015)

  • "Ownership and Entrepreneurship" ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Grant (2015)

  • Global Initiative Grant ($4000) received and then returned. (2013)

  • "Tiehua in Europe" Faculty Research Grant (2012)

  • Faculty Grant Award (2011)

  • "History of Iron Painting" ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Fellowship (2011)

Qin Fang